Overcoming The Devil's Mind Games
Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”
3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”
-1 Kings 19:1-4
Whether you realize it or not, you are in a battle. The moment you gave your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ, you angered the devil. And the primary place this battle takes place is in your mind. There is a battle going on between good and evil, right and wrong, God and the devil. Your mind is a battleground. And the choice is yours. The devil wants you to . . .
1) Entertain thoughts that are not of God. Elijah entertained thoughts that were not of God. Even though he knew that he had nothing to fear, he allowed the thoughts from the devil to enter his mind. And what was the result? He wanted to end his life. While Satan cannot read your mind, he can influence your thoughts. 2 Corinthians 10:5 teaches us to cast down those imaginations.
When your mind is filled with anger, bitterness, fear, worry or confusion, your spiritual growth is stunted.
2) Believe things that are not true. In the previous chapter (1 Kings 18), we read that Elijah had just finished a huge victory over the prophets of the god Baal and the prophets of the god Asherah and the devil played mind games with him to bring his spirits down. Discouragement and depression set in. The devil’s mind games worked on Elijah. Don’t let it work on you.
3) Do things that are not right. Everything you do in life begins in your mind. Ever heard of the destiny principle? “Sow a thought, reap an act. Sow an act, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a lifestyle. Sow a lifestyle, reap a destiny!”
How do you overcome the devil’s mind games?
1) Don’t give the devil a foothold.
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” -Ephesians 4:26-27
2) Set your mind on Godly thoughts.
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” -Colossians 3:2
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” -Philippians 4:8
When I was 8 years old, my friend invited me to watch a horror movie with him. For the next 10 days or so, I was having nightmares. Evil scenes from that movie kept popping up in my head. What happened? I opened the door to the devil’s mind games. What kind of thoughts do you allow into your mind?
3) Pursue God’s plan for your life.
“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” -Philippians 4:9
Elijah finally recognized that the devil was playing mind games with him. So, he had a change of heart. No longer did he dwell in depression. God continued to use Elijah with miracle after miracle. Elijah was an overcomer! He overcame the mind games of the enemy. And so can you!